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 Prof. Dr. Anne Koenen 

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Prof. Dr. Anne Koenen
Professor Emeritus for American Literature
Room 3507 | Phone: (0341) 973 7331

http://americanstudies.uni-leipzig.de/faculty/koenen
koenen@uni-leipzig.de
 

Bio

Having grown up in a small German town on the borders to France and Luxembourg, I have lived in Saarbrücken, Frankfurt on the Main, Berkeley, and currently Leipzig. I love cats, gardening, and literature about adventurous expeditions into cold, remote regions; for myself, I prefer the Southwest of France.

 

Teaching

Since 1979 (I graduated in 1977, received my PhD in 1981), I have taught a wide variety of courses in American literature and culture, frequently blending these two approaches. In 1993, I was appointed professor for American literature at Leipzig University. I teach the whole spectrum, but with a preference for subjects like popular culture, African American literature and culture, and gender issues.

 

Research

My research has focused on African American literature and culture (my claim to fame is a 1981 interview with Toni Morrison as well as the fact that my study of African women’s literature was the first of its kind in Germany), gender (in culture and literature), and popular culture (including issues of Americanization). From 1987 to 1992, I did research for my Habilitation (on the fantastic as a mode in women’s literature) as a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley. My current research project is on mail-order catalogs in the US between 1900 and 1930 when they were – I claim – the mediators of modernization in rural areas.

 

Other – Non-Academic – Work

For a couple of years, I worked in an agency that organizes aid to developing countries, and I was head of marketing in a small telecommunications company for a year.

 

Selected Publications & Papers

  • "‘Women out of Sequence’: An Interview with Toni Morrison" in Günter H. Lenz, ed., History and Tradition in Afro-American Culture (FrankfurtNew York 1984)
  • (zusammen mit Sabine Bröck), "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston: Black Female Literary Tradition" in Günter H. Lenz ed., History and Tradition in Afro-American Culture (Frankfurt/New York 1984)
  • Zeitgenössische Afro-Amerikanische Frauenliteratur (Frankfurt/New York 1985)
  • "The Fantastic as Feminine Mode: Wide Sargasso Sea". Jean Rhys Review, Vol. 4, No. 1 (1990)
  • "‘Tell me about It. The big city.’ - The City in Black Women’s Literature’" in Storia Nordamericana, Vol. 7, no. 2 (1990): 35-50
  • "Democracy and Women’s Autobiographies". Amerikastudien/American Studies, Vol. 35, No. 3 (1991)
  • "Toni Morrison’s Beloved and the Ghost of Slavery" in Geneviève Fabre and Claudine Raynaud, eds., Morrison’s Beloved, She’s Mine (University of the Sorbonne Press, 1993), p. 53 - 67
  • "The One Out of Sequence" in Danille Taylor-Guthrie, ed., Conversations with Toni Morrison (University Press of Mississippi, 1994), S. 67 - 83
  • "Working Wickedness at Night - Phantastische Literatur von Frauen am Beispiel von Vampiren" in Ilse Nagelschmidt, ed., FrauenforscherInnen stellen sich vor (Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 1995): 99 - 118
  • "Screwing the Ward? Viktorianische Familienkonfigurationen in Watch and Ward und The Turn of the Screw von Henry James" in: Demokratie und Kunst in den USA - Democracy and Art in the U.S.A.-Festschrift zu Ehren von Martin Christadler (Trieste: Edizioni Parnaso, 1996): 225 – 244
  • "Vampire of the Senses - The Feminist Fantastic of Angela Carter" in Dieter Petzold, ed., Fantasy in Film, Fernsehen und Literatur (C. Winter: Heidelberg, 1996): 143 - 161
  • "Bodies that Matter – Kriminelles und wissenschaftliches Interesse am Körper in den Romanen von Patricia Cornwell" in Dieter Petzold und Eberhard Späth, Hg., Unterhaltungsliteratur der achtziger und neunziger Jahre (Erlangen, 1998), S. 43 – 62
  • "The Germanification of Black Women's Literature" in Klaus J. Milich and Jeffrey M. Peck, eds. Multiculturalism in Transit. A German-American Exchange (Berghahn Books: New York/Oxford, 1998): 93 – 110.
  • "Der verweigerte Ort. Sklaverei und Freiheit in der Literatur afro-amerikanischer Frauen" in Hiltrud Gnüg und Renate Möhrmann, Hg., Frauen Literatur Geschichte (Metzler: Stuttgart/Weimar, 1999): S. 574 – 590.
  • "The (Black) Lady Vanishes: Postfeminism, Poststructuralism, and Theorizing in Narratives by Black Women", ed. Fernando de Toro, Explorations on Post-Theory: Toward a Third Space (Frankfurt: Vervuert, 1999), S. 131-143.
  • zusammen mit Catrin Gersdorf (Hg.), Geschlechterdifferenz und Amerikastudien in Deutschland. Analysen und Interpretationen (Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 1999)
  • Visions of Doom, Plots of Power: The Fantastic in Anglo-American Women’s Literature (Frankfurt: Vervuert, 1999)
  • "'Race' und US-amerikanische Frauenliteratur" in Ilse Nagelschmidt, Hg., Frauenforscherinnen stellen sich vor (Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2000), S. 227-248.
  • Mail-Order Catalogs in the US 1880 – 1930: How Sears Brought Modernization to American Farmers. Paderborner Universitätsreden, Hg. Peter Freese (Universität Paderborn, 2001)
  • "Re-Education for Peace", eds. Dorothea Steiner/Thomas Hartl, American Studies and Peace (Frankfurt et al.: Peter Lang, 2001), S. 91-97.
  • zusammen mit Ludwig Stockinger, „Kulturkritik und Amerikanisierung. Konzept einer amerikanistisch-germanistischen Lehrveranstaltung“ in Christa Grimm, Ilse Nagelschmidt, Ludwig Stockinger (Hrg.), Theorie und Praxis der Kulturstudien. (Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2003), S. 343-354.
  • “'Fear of Shopping in Germany’. The Americanization of Consumption in Early Mail-Order Business” in Amerikanische Populärkultur in Deutschland: Case Studies in Cultural Transfer Past and Present. Eds. Katja Kanzler and Heike Paul (Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2002), S. 51-72
  • „’What do you keep cows for?’ Mail-Order Catalogs and Consumerism in Rural Areas of the US, 1900-1930”, Journal for the Study of British Cultures, Vol. 11, no. 2 (2/2004): 205-216

Selected Lectures

  • Aspects of a Black Female Literary Tradition, Gemeinsame Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien und des Zentrums für Nordamerika-Forschung (ZENAF), History and Tradition in Afro-American Culture, Frankfurt, 28. Juni 1982
  • Scarlett doesnt live here anymore - Toni Morrison als Repräsentantin afroamerikanischer Literatur (Toni Morrison and Black Womens Literary Tradition), Dritte Tagung von Frauen in der Literaturwissenschaft, Hamburg, 17. Mai 1986
  • Focus on Popular Music - Worksongs, Jazz, Soul, and Rap, Gemeinsame Tagung des Zentrums für Nordamerika-Forschung (ZENAF) und der Hessischen Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung, Wiesbaden, Art, Music, Architecture and Popular Culture in Contemporary America; Falkenstein, 18. November 1988
  • The Gothic and Ghost Stories, Beatrice Bain Research Group, University of California at Berkeley, April 1990
  • Metamorphoses in Mens and Womens Literature - Identity, Power, and Change, Beatrice Bain Research Group, University of California at Berkeley, Juni 1991
  • Alien(N)ation - The Literary Utopia and Postmodernism, Beatrice Bain Research Group, University of California at Berkeley, 27. Januar 1992
  • Psychoanalysis, Theories of the Fantastic, and African American Literature - Beloved and The Ghost of Slavery, 39. Wissenschaftliche Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien Multikulturalismus, Berlin, 10. Juni 1992
  • Schöne Neue Welt - Realitäten und Utopie der amerikanischen Frauenbewegung, Eröffnungsvortrag der Ausstellung Remember the Ladies der Württembergischen Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart, 22. September 1992
  • Beloved and the Ghost of Slavery, Tagung Race-Ethnicity and Gender: A Comparative Perspective from the Socio-Cultural Sciences der Universität Bremen, Bremen, 18. Juni 1993
  • The Fantastic in Recent American Womens Writings, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 16. Februar 1994
  • Not A Story to Pass On? Die Bedeutung afro-amerikanischer Frauenliteratur am Beispiel Toni Morrison, Technische Universität Berlin, 06. Juli 1994
  • Race, Gender and the Fantastic, J.F. Kennedy Institut der Freien Universität Berlin, 25. Januar 1995
  • The Germanification of Toni Morrison - Black Women Writers and the German Media Multi-Culturalism, Washington, 18. März 1995
  • Gender and Genre - Women Writers and the Fantastic, Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien, Hamburg, 08. Juni 1995
  • Vampire of the Senses, Universität Greifswald, 03. Juli 1995
  • "Kiss me with Those Red Lips" - Vampires in Anglo-American Literature, Ohio University, Athens Ohio, 05. April 1996
  • "The (Black) Lady Vanishes: Postfeminism, Poststructuralism, and Theorizing in Narratives by Black Women",Konferenz "Explorations on Post-Theory: Toward a Third space", Ottawa, 3.-5. October, 1996
  • Risse im naturalistischen Weltbild Moral, Stadterfahrung und Weiblichkeit in Theodore Dreisers "Sister Carrie", Humboldt-Universität, 23. Januar 1997
  • Bodies that Matter: Kriminelles und wissenschaftliches Interesse am Körper in den Romanen von Patricia Cornwell, Universität Erlangen (Konferenz), 24. Januar 1997
  • Working Wickedness at Night: Vampires in Anglo-American Literatures, Mount Holyoke, September 19, 199
  • Kaufen bis zum Umfallen Amerikanischer Konsum in amerikanischen Versandhauskatalogen dieses Jahrhunderts, Universität Ulm, 16. Dezember 1999
  • "Mail-Order Catalogs in the US 18801930: How Sears Brought Modernization to American Farmers", Universität Paderborn, 12. Dezember 2000
  • "Kulturkritik und Amerikanisierung. Konzept einer amerikanistisch-germanistischen Lehrveranstaltung" (mit Prof. Dr. Ludwig Stockinger), Tagung "Kulturstudien in der Germanistik", Universität Leipzig, 22. November 2001
  • "Kultureller Wandel und Amerikanische Versandhauskataloge von 1880 1930", Universität Frankfurt, 17. Januar 2001
  • The Farmers Bible Consumerism and National Identity in Rural America, Du Bois Lectures, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 29. Mai 2001
  • "The Farmer's Bible Sears Mail-Order Catalogs and Modernization in the Rural US (1880 1930), American Studies Lecture, Universität Regensburg, 03. Juli 2001
  • The Popularization of Science in Detective Novels and SF, Universität Paderborn (Konferenz), 13.05.2003
  • Who´s Passing for Who? The Deconstruction of ´Race´ and Gender in British and US fictions, Leipzig, Simon-Dubnow-Institut (Minerva Summer School), 9. Juli 2003
  • What Do Farmers Keep Cows For? Mail-Order and Consumerism in Rural Areas of the US, 1900-1930, Leipzig, Konferenz Consumption and Consumer Cultures, 14th British Cultural Studies Conference, 21.11.2003

 

Theses Supervised

Ongoing:

  • "Die Repräsentation und Funktion von Religion in der Populärliteratur Stephen Kings" [working title] (Thomas Kolitsch, Dissertation)
  • "American Reproduction: Contextualizing Nineteenth-Century Discourses on Pregnancy and Birth Control" [working title] (Katja Schmieder, Habilitation)
  • "Narrative Instability in Recent American Popular Culture" [working title] (Stefan Schubert, Dissertation)
  • "Self-Reflexive Nostalgia for the Fifties in Contemporary Popular Culture" [working title] (Eleonora Ravizza, Dissertation)
  • "From Farm to Stammtisch: German-American Food Cultures in Northern California in the Nineteeth and Twentieth Centuries" [working title] (Leonard Schmieding, Habilitation)
  • "The Contemporary American Small-Town Gothic" [working title] (Thorsten Burkhardt, Dissertation)
  • "Digital Literature: Textuality and Performativity of Online Fiction" [working title] (Christopher Köhler, Dissertation)
  • "Early Notions of Big Data" [working title] (Sebastian Herrmann, Habilitation)
  • "Zombies and Postmodern Subjectivity" [working title] (Tyrone White, Dissertation)

Completed:

  • "Mapping Migration: Women's Writing and the American Immigrant Experience" (Heike Paul, Dissertation, 1997)
  • "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations: The Multicultural Evolution of Star Trek" (Katja Kanzler, Dissertation, 2002)
  • "A Momentary Stay Against Confusion: Selfhood and Authorship in the Work of Paul Auster" (Änne Troester, Dissertation, 2003)
  • "Kulturkontakt und Racial Presences: Afro-Amerikaner und die deutsche Amerika-Literatur, 1815-1914" (Heike Paul, Habilitation, 2004)
  • "The Poetics and Politics of the Desert: Landscape and the (Re-)Construction of America" (Catrin Gersdorf, Habilitation, 2004)
  • "MexAmerica: Genealogien und Analysen postnationaler Diskurse in der kulturellen Produktion von Chicanos/as" (Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez, Habilitation, 2004)
  • "Reconciling the 'Two Cultures': Science in Contemporary American Crime Fiction" (Katja Schmieder, Dissertation, 2008)
  • "Unseparate Spheres: Gender and Class in Antebellum Writing of the Kitchen and the Factory" (Katja Kanzler, Habilitation, 2009)
  • "Charmed Worlds: Reading the American Shopping Mall from Texture to Text" (Zoë Antonia Kusmierz, Dissertation, 2010)
  • "When the Margins Bite Back: Fantastic Re-Conceptualizations of Interracial Relationships in Contemporary African American Women’s Vampire Fiction" (Marie-Luise Löffler, Dissertation, 2012)
  • "Presidential Unrealities: Epistemic Panic, Cultural Work, and the US Presidency" (Sebastian M. Herrmann, Dissertation, 2012)
  • "Agency in Works by Octavia E. Butler" (Florian Bast, Dissertation, 2015)
  • "The Deconstruction of Good and Evil in Crime Series" (Franziska Kloth, Dissertation, 2015)

As well as numerous Magister, Staatsexamen, BA, and MA theses.

 

Selected Honors, Distinctions, Services

  • My studies and research were supported by the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
  • From 1996 to 1999, I was dean and deputy dean of the Philologische Fakultät; as one of three professors representatives, I served on the senate of the university from 1999 to 2006.
  • I was the first female president of the German Association for American Studies from 1999 to 2002 , after having served as the vice president from 1996 to 1999.
  • I have been the Fulbright Liaison Officer at Leipzig University since 1996, have served on the national selection committee of the German Academic Exchange Organization (since 1998), have been the director of the Ohio Leipzig European Center (since 2001), have served on the advisory board of the Förderer und Freunde der Universität Leipzig (since 1999), and have represented American Studies during several evaluations of study programs at universities like Humboldt University and University Kiel.

 

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